I’ve enjoyed beating up on Killington over the years, especially my anti-capitalist anti-consumerism post-college-angst years (if aren’t a socialist in your 20s you have no heart, if you’re still a socialist in your 30s you have no brain). But in recent memory, I’ve always had good early and late season days there. Killington came at this season with a completely different attitude. There has been a void in New England skiing for a long time and it is nice to have that void finally refilled.
As Sugarloaf and Sugarbush both close, Killington is not just still open but talking about June. Maybe they will get there, maybe they won’t. But the talk is hardly hypothetical marketing bluster, it is absolutely doable.
Unlike in past years when “The Beast” announced an earlier than planned April closing despite ample snow just before a massive storm that they would not reopen for, Killington is honestly playing for keeps this season. And it is about time. All hail Killington, undisputed King of Spring with the earliest opening, latest closing, and longest season. Thank you.
Killington opened for the season today, and this time everyone was invited. This was my first early season experience since the installation of the Peak Walkway which is a game changer for Killington. With Killington’s renewed sense of identity, it will be difficult for any other mountain in the northeast to open sooner.
I took advantage of a 2 for 1 offer, taking a half dozen runs for nineteen fiddy. Uploading was provided by the K1 which unceremoniously dumped me out on the Great Northern gauntlet. Snow guns were everywhere creating an impenetrable cloud of near blindness.
Day twenty-nine: almost halfway to my season goal of sixty. I never thought approaching thirty days would feel like an accomplishment. But with two months remaining of this craptastic season, I’ll be extremely happy to hit thirty on Mount Washington next month.
A terrible season puts things in perspective. Killington making it to April 22nd this year is a significant accomplishment. In past years, closing this weekend was considered an “epic fail”. And if not for a late season dump, this weekend would not have been possible. So there is some perspective, it could always be worse no matter how bad it seems to get.
More ski areas need to offer 8:00 A.M. first chairs. Arriving at the summit of Vermont’s second highest peak forty minutes after sunrise was a treat. A warm glow bathed a mountain caked in white, floating over an undercast. I never expected to find beauty at Killington this morning. But low expectations make for delightful surprises.
That is the theme for this season. Delightful surprises happen when you expect the worst. Or when you don’t expect anything at all. Just set the alarm, grab your skis, and go. Because that is what we do. No matter how bad it gets, we are still making turns. And that sure beats the alternative.
Today had all the makings of fantastic adventure: equipment failure, gear breakage, poor packing skills, lost helmet ear pads, and horrific skiing. Depending upon one’s outlook on life, it could have either been a comedy or a tragedy. Or both. My amusement while “skiing” (i.e. attempting and failing to link two turns) suggested comedy. But my frustration with trying to engage my Dynafits after falling (again) and associated broken brake suggested tragedy. I laughed, but I didn’t cry.